If you’ve been avoiding getting your hearing tested, this can make any symptoms you are experiencing much worse. It is important to have your hearing evaluated regularly so that you can intervene early if there are any changes to your hearing health.
Widespread Inaction on Hearing Loss
Over 48 million people have hearing loss, making it the third most common medical condition that people live with today. But only a third of people who could benefit from treatment receive it. There are numerous studies that highlight widespread inaction on hearing loss. This includes a recent study conducted by American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Researchers polled nearly 2,500 adults on their experience of hearing loss and found that:
- 2 in 10 adults have had a hearing test in the past 5 years, compared to 6 in 10 adults who have had their vision tested.
- More than 51% of people reported hearing issues but only 11% have sought treatment.
- 78% of those with hearing issues have been experiencing these challenges for 1 or more years, and over 35% have had trouble for 5 or more years.
These findings reveal that hearing health tends to not be prioritized and that it is common for symptoms to remain untreated, even after a number of years.
Why Hearing Tests are Avoided & the Impact
Avoiding hearing tests can significantly affect health and daily life in major ways so why is it common to avoid them? A few common reason people often avoid hearing tests include:
- Misconceptions: there are numerous misconceptions about hearing loss that minimize the impact of impaired hearing and the urgency of seeking treatment. This includes that hearing loss is curable, only impacts older adults, and that if one can hear then that means hearing is fine. The reality of hearing loss is that it is usually permanent and affects people of all ages. Also, hearing loss exists on a spectrum from mild to profound. The longer symptoms are left untreated, the worse impairment and symptoms can become.
- Stigma: though hearing loss is pervasive, there is still stigma associated with it. People may feel embarrassed about their symptoms and want to avoid sharing it with others and seeking treatment. This can make it tough for people to acknowledge their hearing loss, contributing to a delay in treatment.
- Cost: another contributing factor to avoiding hearing tests is the costs associated with it. Oftentimes, insurance provides little to no coverage for hearing health related costs. This can deter people from addressing their symptoms and seeking treatment. But it is important to know that you can establish a budget and work with your hearing healthcare provider.
Avoiding hearing tests and delaying treatment can worsen hearing loss symptoms and impairment. This can further strain hearing and communication which affects relationships, social life, work performance, and overall health. Extensive research shows that untreated hearing loss can increase a number of health risks including cognitive decline, accidental injuries, depressive symptoms, falls etc. This highlights how important it is to intervene early and seek treatment.
Prioritize Your Hearing Health Today
There is a range of hearing healthcare resources and services you can access to transform your hearing health. The first step is to schedule an appointment for a hearing test. This involves a painless process that measures your hearing capacities in both ears. A noninvasive process, this identifies any hearing loss, teh type, and degree of impairment you could be experiencing in each ear. Once your hearing needs are established, your hearing healthcare provider is able to recommend treatment options to meet those needs.
There are effective ways that hearing loss is treated. The most common treatment is hearing aids which are electronic devices that are designed to absorb, amplogy, and process speech as well as sound. This provides the ears and brain with significant support, alleviating symptoms and maximizing hearing capacity. Hearing aids allow people to engage in conversations and navigate social settings as well as daily activities with greater ease, awareness, and presence. People are better able to practice effective communication and spend time with others. This improves relationships, enriches social connection, and improves health. These benefits enhance quality of life and support people living fully.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a hearing consultation!